Driver Leasing News – FMCSA Proposes Tough Sanctions for Carriers That Repeatedly Disregard Safety Rules

Safety regulators want to impose the ultimate penalty, loss of registration, on truck and bus operations that show egregious disregard for the rules.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration says that every year a small number of carriers try to avoid compliance or disguise non-compliance. These carriers often submit new applications under a different name after they have been placed out of service, the agency said.

In a proposed rule posted this week, the agency said it needs to take strong action to deter this kind of behavior.

With the legal authority it gained in this year’s highway law, the agency proposes to suspend or revoke the operating authority of carriers that disregard the rules. The rule also targets carrier officers or employers who either disregard the rules or permit others to do so.

The proposal targets failure to comply with safety rules, as well as concealment of that failure. It also goes after those who do not comply with orders to fix safety problems, who do not pay fines for safety violations, or who do not respond to enforcement actions.

The most reliable way to correct potential violations related to drivers, driver safety and DOT compliance is to consider driver leasing with PRO SOURCE, INC. PRO SOURCE, INC becomes solely responsible for meeting all FMCSR 391 driver regulations.

FMCSA is looking for comments on the proposal by Jan. 14.

FMCSA Safety Crackdown Closes 26 Bus Operations

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration shut down 26 bus operations running passenger service on I-95 between New York City and Florida, the latest in a series of enforcement crackdowns on truck and bus companies.

The agency said the bus companies were an “imminent hazard” due to continuous safety violations, such as using drivers who did not have commercial licenses and who did not clear drug and alcohol tests.

This is the largest single shutdown in the agency’s history, said Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.

“These aggressive enforcement actions against unsafe bus companies send a clear signal: If you put passengers’ safety at risk, we will shut you down,” he said in a statement.

FMCSA recently has been nearly as aggressive against trucking operations it found in violation of the rules.

Since March, it has ordered a half-dozen freight carriers to stop service:

– UD Service, Indianapolis, for using drivers who did not have a CDL and who were not proficient in English.

– Reliable Transportation Services of Utah for hours of service and other violations.

– JA Transportation of New Jersey for hours violations, as well as driver qualifications and maintenance.

– Judson Mobley Logging, Georgia, for drug and alcohol

Driver Leasing Company Prepares Drivers for Roadcheck 2012

Roadcheck is the largest targeted enforcement program on commercial vehicles in the world with approximately 14 trucks or buses being inspected, on average, every minute from Canada to Mexico during a 72-hour period in early June. During this 72-hour period nearly 8,000 CVSA and FMCSA certified inspectors at more than 2,500 locations across North America will perform around 70,000 truck and bus inspections focusing on the North American Standard (NAS) Level 1 inspections, motorcoach inspections, hours-of-service and logbooks reviews(?), and household goods carriers inspections(?). While overall out-of-service rates are at record lows, there is still room for improvement.

Roadcheck data from 2011 showed an overall vehicle compliance rate of 80.7 percent (up from 80.0 percent in 2010), and an overall driver compliance rate of 95.8 percent (up from 95.6 percent in 2010). For NAS Level I inspections, the compliance rates were 77.2 percent for vehicles (up from 76.7 percent in 2010) and 96.3 percent for drivers (unchanged from 2010). In addition, there were 296 fewer safety belt violations in 2011 (863 vs. 1,159 in 2010). Inspections of passenger carrying vehicles found a vehicle compliance rate of 91.3 percent in 2011 (up from 91.0 percent in 2010). The motorcoach driver compliance rate was 97.4 percent (up from 96.4 percent in 2010). Hazardous materials inspections resulted in a vehicle compliance rate of 82.1 percent (down from 83.7 percent in 2010) and driver compliance rate was 97.5 percent (unchanged from previous year). There were 29,609 CVSA Decals issued to vehicles that passed the inspection, up from the 26,605 issued in 2010.

DOT Roadside Inspection

The top five driver out-of-service violations are:

  1. Requiring or permitting a driver to drive more than 11 consecutive hours
  2. Requiring or permitting a driver to drive after 14 hours on duty
  3. False reports of driver record of duty status
  4. No record of duty status
  5. Driver failing to retain driver logs from the previous seven days

The top five vehicle out-of-service violations are:

  1. Brake adjustment
  2. Brake tubing and hoses
  3. Tires and wheels (flat tires or exposed fabric)
  4. Lights (inoperative turn signals/brake lights)
  5. Load securement

Pro Source has prepared their drivers for Roadcheck 2012. Drivers should:

  • Be prepared for the increased inspections
  • Have a valid CDL and current medical card
  • Keep driver logs current to last change of duty status
  • Drive within hours-of-service regulations
  • Wear their seatbelt
  • Know the critical vehicle inspection items
  • Complete detailed pre-trip vehicle inspection and correct deficiencies
  • Have a professional attitude
  • Keep in mind BLT – brakes, lights and tires
  • Know the three P’s of hauling hazmat – papers, placards and packaging